Mountain Brook Car Accident Lawyer

No one ever expects to be involved in a car accident. However, the sad reality is that car crashes are a very common occurrence in the United States. Each year, tens of thousands of people lose their lives while millions of others are killed as a result of car accidents. What makes the situation even sadder is the fact that most of these accidents are avoidable. Studies show that driver error is by far the leading cause of accidents.

Driver error is often the result of distracted driving, overspeeding, poor decisions such as getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, and driver fatigue. Drivers have a responsibility to observe traffic rules and pay full attention to their driving in order to maintain their safety and that of others. However, when this doesn’t happen, they drastically increase their risk of causing an accident.

Have you or a loved one suffered injuries following an accident in Alabama that was someone else’s fault? If yes, then you need to get in touch with a seasoned Mountain Brook car accident lawyer at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton right away. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our team will fight aggressively to protect your rights and secure a favorable outcome for your case. Get in touch with our personal injury firm today at 855-965-1688 to schedule your free consultation.

Alabama Car Accident Statistics

Auto accidents are an everyday occurrence in Alabama. Alabama traffic statistics are quite startling, which only emphasizes the need for increased caution and conscientiousness on our roads. So, what do the statistics say?

Two drivers exchanging information after a car accident in Mountain Brook.

According to crash data from 2018, there were a total of 159,925 car accidents in Alabama. A car crash was reported every 3 minutes and 17 seconds. More than 10,000 people were injured in 47,419 crashes while 953 people were killed in 872 fatal crashes. A person was injured in a car accident every 11 minutes and 5 seconds while a person was killed every 9 hours and 10 minutes. Of all the fatal crashes, 20% were caused by drivers below 25 years old. 77% of crashes reported in Alabama took place in urban areas, however, 60% of all fatalities happened in rural areas.

How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?

Most accident victims are usually reluctant to hire a car accident lawyer due to their concerns about how much it will cost them. However, most professional car accident lawyers in the Mountain Brook area, including us, operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not have to pay us any fees unless we win your case. When this happens, you will be charged a certain percentage of the compensation amount, which is usually agreed upon in advance. This percentage often ranges from 25% to 40%.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

The steps you take immediately after an accident will have a huge impact on the outcome of your case as well as your wellbeing. Here are some of the key things you should do:

Contact Police

You should always call the police after being involved in a car accident. This also applies to accidents that are seemingly minor. You will want them to file an official accident report as you might need it later on in proving your case. Additionally, in some cases, you are required by the law to do so.

Check on Other Involved Parties

Next, you should assess the situation and find out whether others involved in the accident are okay. You should also look out for any safety risks and move to a safer spot if need be. However, the last thing you’d want to do is to flee the scene as this can have criminal charges brought up against you.

Exchange Info

Make sure that you collect the names, contact details, address, and insurance information of the other driver. You should also provide them with yours.

Record the Scene

Documenting the evidence while it is still fresh will make it much easier for your case. You can use your smartphone to take pictures and videos of the scene. Capture damages inflicted on the vehicles, skid marks, and injuries sustained.

Never Admit Fault

To avoid jeopardizing your case, you should limit your conversation with the other parties involved. You should never apologize or admit fault for the accident. Remember that in Alabama, if you are found to be even 1% at fault, you can’t pursue compensation.

Seek Medical Attention

Obviously, your health should be a top priority. Seeking immediate medical attention helps to fasten your recovery and identify any hidden injuries. Additionally, when your injuries are documented by a medical professional it will be easier to prove the true extent of your injuries.

Call a Car Accident Lawyer!

One of the best decisions you can make when dealing with a personal injury involving a car accident is hiring a lawyer. Personal injury law is quite complex and there is a high risk of your rights being trampled on if you have no experience with such issues.

Why do I Need a Lawyer?

The importance of having a lawyer on your side can not be underestimated. In addition to having extensive knowledge of the relevant laws and providing expert legal advice and guidance, there are a number of important things that a lawyer can do for you:

Case Preparation / Filing a Lawsuit

One great benefit of hiring a car accident lawyer is that they will help you build and present a solid personal injury case. They will handle the bulk of the work, which will include conducting a thorough investigation into the case. They will utilize their expertise, connections, and resources to gather all the required evidence to prove their claims.

A Mountain Brook car accident lawyer filing a claim.

They will also handle all the required paperwork including preparing legal documents and filing complaints in court. Your attorney will have your best interests at heart. They will advise you on what to say and what not to say and help you navigate the process.

Settlement Negotiation

First of all, you should keep in mind that insurance companies are all about making profits. And paying out huge sums as compensation to accident victims isn’t in their best interest. They will use everything in their power to ensure they pay the least possible amount or avoid paying out entirely.

Your attorney will handle the negotiation process and ensure that you are not taken advantage of. He or she will figure out how much you are owed and will demand that the insurance company puts forward a fair offer.

Trial Preparation & Representation

If a favorable agreement isn’t reached during the negotiations, your attorney will take your case to trial. If this happens, you might be called upon to testify and what you say will have a huge impact on the outcome of your case. Knowing what to say and how to go about it will be very important. A good attorney will adequately prepare you for the trial process.

Your attorney will also effectively present all the gathered evidence to support your claims and also call in expert witnesses to prove the true extent of your injuries and damages. He will argue out your case and fight aggressively to convince the jury to award you a fair amount.

What Type of Damages Can I Recover in an Alabama Car Accident Claim?

You can recover the following types of damages for a car accident claim, per Alabama law:

Economic

Economic damages are damages awarded to compensate the plaintiff for monetary losses resulting from the injuries. These include medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, lost wages, home health care, and so on.

Non-Economic

These are intangible damages that can’t be assigned a monetary value. They include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of bodily function, etc.

Punitive

These types of damages are rarely awarded. They are not meant to compensate the plaintiff but rather to punish the defendant and deter others from committing similar offenses. However, Alabama puts a cap on the amount awardable. The amount awarded should not be more than three times the amount for compensatory damages, and should not exceed $1.5 million.

How is Fault Determined?

Simply being hurt in a car accident doesn’t prove that the other driver is at fault. To establish that the other party is at-fault for your injuries, you need to prove the following elements of negligence:

  • Duty of care: You need to prove that the other driver owed you a duty of care. This means that he or she was supposed to act in a particular way to ensure your safety and that of others, for example, stopping at a red light.
  • Breach of duty of care: The other driver failed to fulfill his duty of care. He did or didn’t do something that a reasonable person would or would not do in a similar situation.
  • Causation: Next, you need to prove that your injuries were a direct result of the driver’s negligence.
  • Damages: The last thing you need to prove is that as a result of your injuries you suffered damages.

An insurance adjuster reviewing a car accident.

But you should keep in mind that Alabama law applies the principle of contributory negligence to car accident cases, meaning that if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, you lose your right to recover damages.

How Long do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Alabama?

The statute of limitations that affects car accidents in Alabama sets two years from the date of the accident as the deadline for filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This deadline also applies in cases where the accident results in the death of a family member or personal representative of the deceased.

Contact a Mountain Brook Car Accident Lawyer

If you or a family member has sustained an injury in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence, you have a legal right to pursue compensation. However, actually securing this compensation can be a stressful and complicated process, especially considering Alabama’s strict car accident laws. This is why you need the assistance of someone who has extensive experience dealing with such cases.

A personal injury attorney at Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton can help you get the full compensation that you deserve. We understand what you are going through and we are ready and prepared to offer you all the assistance you need. Call us today at 855-965-1688 to set up your free consultation.

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